(BIVN) – The University of Hawai‘i-Hilo fall commencement was held on Saturday, Dec. 16. A massive hula began the event at the Vulcan Gym, which was live-streamed over the internet.
UH-Hilo reports 255 students have petitioned for degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (17), Business and Economics (33), Pharmacy (1), Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (9), and for various post-graduate credentials (14).
The keynote address was delivered by Pwo navigator Chad “Kālepa” Baybayan, a captain of the Hōkūleʻa voyaging canoe.
According to UH-Hilo:
on Dec. 5, 2017
Born and raised in Lahaina, Maui, Baybayan currently serves as Navigator- in-Residence at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, developing wayfinding activities, curriculum, and educational materials that engage individuals of all ages.
He has been an active participant in the Polynesian voyaging renaissance since 1975, as captain and navigator onboard the iconic Hawaiian double-hulled voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa, as well as the companion canoes Hawai‘iloa and Hōkūalaka‘i. Baybayan most recently took part in the three-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, which wrapped up in June 2017 after traveling 42,000 nautical miles, visiting 150 ports in more than 20 countries, and training a new generation of navigators, educators, scientists, and community stewards.
In 2007, Baybayan and four other Hōkūleʻa navigators schooled by Master Navigator Mau Piailug, traveled to the island of Satawal in Micronesia where they were inducted into the Order of Pwo, a 3,000-year-old society of master deep-sea navigators. The Pwo initiation is a sacred ritual where students of traditional navigation are formally recognized as Palu (navigators). They officially become master navigators upon the death of their teacher; Piailug passed away in July 2010.
Baybayan earned a BA in Hawaiian Studies from UH Hilo in 1997 and an M.Ed. from Heritage College in 1999.